Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In medicine, a vitiated craving for what is unfit for food, as chalk, ashes, or coal.
  • noun Eccles., same as ordinal, 2 .
  • noun An alphabetical catalogue of names and things in rolls and records.
  • noun A genus of oscine passerine birds of the family Corvidæ and sub-family Garrulinæ, having an extremely long graduated tail, the nostrils covered with antrorse plumules, and the plumage iridescent black and white; the magpies.
  • noun [lowercase] A bird of the genus Pica; a pie; a magpie.
  • noun A size of printing-type, about 6 lines to the inch, intermediate between the sizes English (larger) and small-pica (smaller).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Zoöl.) The genus that includes the magpies.
  • noun (Med.) A vitiated appetite that craves what is unfit for food, as chalk, ashes, coal, etc.; chthonophagia.
  • noun (R. C. Ch.), obsolete A service-book. See Pie.
  • noun (Print.) A size of type next larger than small pica, and smaller than English.
  • noun (Print.) a size of type next larger than long primer, and smaller than pica.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A vitiated appetite that craves what is unfit for food, as chalk, ashes, coal, etc.; chthonophagia.
  • noun typography, uncountable A size of type.
  • noun typography, countable A unit of measure equivalent to 12 points.
  • noun obsolete A Roman Catholic service book; a type of ecclesiastical calendar book.
  • noun Archaic form of pika. (small rodent)

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a linear unit (1/6 inch) used in printing
  • noun an eating disorder, frequent in children, in which non-nutritional objects are eaten persistently
  • noun magpies

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin pīca, “magpie”, “jay” (from the idea that magpies will eat almost anything)

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The printing senses are probably from named the obsolete service book, which used this type size (compare canon and brevier) . In turn seemingly from Latin pīca ("magpie"), after the piebald appearance of the typeset page (compare pie ("disordered type")).

Examples

  • That's because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "pie" - defined as a baked dish topped with and sometimes also surrounded by pastry - may well derive from the Latin word pica, meaning magpie.

    News

  • That's because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "pie" - defined as a baked dish topped with and sometimes also surrounded by pastry - may well derive from the Latin word pica, meaning magpie.

    News

  • "The new message is sent to the Bot class to create a new robot and associate with it the name pica := is for assignment"

    Archive 2007-07-01

  • "The new message is sent to the Bot class to create a new robot and associate with it the name pica := is for assignment"

    messages are different in Smalltalk

  • Children who are iron deficient will eat dirt, a condition known as pica, in an attempt to get what their body needs.

    The UltraMetabolism Cookbook

  • UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They had a disorder called pica, where they ate things that aren ` t food, like chalk, dirt, batteries, things like that.

    CNN Transcript Sep 14, 2005

  • If you have it, you are going to see these symptoms -- weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, difficulty concentrating, irritability, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and something known as pica -- this is a very interesting phenomenon, Paula.

    CNN Transcript Oct 11, 2002

  • The twelfth part of a pica is the unit, called a _point_, by which type bodies are measured.

    Up To Date Business Home Study Circle Library Series (Volume II.)

  • The habit of dirt eating or clay-eating, called pica, is well authenticated in many countries.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

  • The habit of dirt eating or clay-eating, called pica, is well authenticated in many countries.

    Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine

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